Jan 6 rioter who led other rioters in attacking police is slapped with 7-year prison sentence

A Washington state man who led rioters in attacking police on Jan. 6, 2021, has been slapped with a lengthy prison sentence this Wednesday after he was convicted in November of seven charges.

Taylor James Johnatakis‘ charges included obstruction of an official proceeding and assaulting police officers. Prosecutors say he led rioters in attacking the police line outside the Capitol building that day.

“Specifically, using his megaphone, Johnatakis directed rioters to move up to the police line and yelled at the rioters to ‘pack it in! pack it in!'” a press release from the U.S. District Attorney stated. “Johnatakis then instructed the crowd through the megaphone that they were going to push the bike racks ‘one foot’ at a time and counted, ‘one, two, three, GO!!'”

From ABC News:

During his trial, Johnatakis represented himself, frustrating Judge Royce Lamberth with his erratic behavior. He argued his case by claiming to be a “sovereign citizen,” The Associated Press reported, which the judge called “gobbledygook.”

Johnatakis also asked the judge questions during his sentencing, including “Does the record reflect that I repent in my sins?” — to which Lamberth replied he was not taking questions, the AP reported.

In a letter after Wednesday’s hearing, Lamberth said every decision on how to sentence Jan. 6 rioters “aims to discourage these defendants from future violence, dissuade others from taking inspiration from the Capitol riot, and express the community’s moral disapproval of this conduct.”

He hit back at the idea that Johnatakis was simply exercising his freedom of speech, saying his actions were “neither First Amendment-protected activity nor civil disobedience.”

“A society in which everyone does what is right by his own lights, where adherence to the law is optional, would be a society of vigilantism, lawlessness, and anarchy,” he wrote.

Read more at ABC News.

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.